Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta is the ninth named storm to make landfall in the U.S., tying a century-old record, plus 'zombie' Tropical Storm Paulette returns

I promised my readers more hurricane coverage in WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids shows how Hurricane Sally and western wildfires look from Michigan.
This isn't even the worst of the damage from wind and water. I might show those in a few days once Sally finishes passing over land or when the National Hurricane Center runs out of names and starts using Greek letters.
It ended up being when storms with Greek letters for names formed. One of them, Tropical Storm Beta, became the first Greek-letter-named storm to make landfall in the U.S. CBS Evening News reported in Tropical Storm Beta slams Texas with heavy rains, flooding the day before yesterday.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Beta are battering the Gulf Coast with torrential rains from Texas all the way to New Orleans. Janet Shamlian reports.
As I promised, this clip shows some of the damage from Hurricane Sally as well as the flooding from Tropical Storm Beta. Power is still out in some areas from Sally.

13News Now (WVEC) in Hampton, Virginia, put what is now Tropical Depression Beta in context as part of its Tropics Update: Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Depression Beta, Tropical Storm Paulette.

13News Now Meteorologist Tim Pandajis has the latest a few storms, including Hurricane Teddy which is heading towards Nova Scotia, even though it's expected to weaken into a post-tropical cyclone. Tropical Depression Beta is also expected to weaken even further after making landfall in the U.S. And guess what?? Paulette's back! This time as a tropical storm!
Not only is Beta the first Greek-letter tropical system to make landfall in the U.S., it is the ninth named tropical system to make landfall in the U.S., tying a record that dates back to 1916, more than a century ago. As Tim Pandajis pointed out, the 2020 hurricane season still has nearly two months to go and a very active season like 2005 and 2020 could produce storms in December or even January, so that record could easily fall and 2020 would set a new record. That would be very on-brand for 2020.

Also on brand for 2020 would be a zombie storm, which Pandajis mentioned as well. Follow over the jump for more on that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

200,000 dead from the pandemic in the U.S.

I posted 100,000 dead and 40 million unemployed in the U.S., the human toll of the pandemic so far on May 28th. Four months later, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take American lives, as ABC News reported US hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in six months last night.

President Trump falsely claimed that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody” younger than 18 while Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the U.S. is entering a “risk period” as people move indoors this fall.
ABC News was right to call out Trump's false claim and follow up with examples of young people dying from COVID-19. As for Trump thinking the only failure of his administration on the pandemic was public relations, it's both appalling and completely on-brand for him. He would think that way.

CBS News uploaded a longer and more comprehensive report in yesterday's U.S. records more than 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The U.S. has surpassed 200,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest total of any country in the world. Dr. Blythe Adamson, an epidemiologist and advisor for the nonprofit organization Testing for America, joined CBSN's Elaine Quijano to discuss the importance of COVID-19 testing and how it could help the country curb its cases.
Not only does the likelihood of another wave of COVID-19 scare me, so does the return of flu season. Two years ago, I told my readers Flu killed 80,000 Americans last year [2017-2018], including 183 children, the CDC reported, so get a a flu shot. I will get a flu shot this year, just as I did last year. I hope my readers do, too, as the reward outweighs the risk.

CBS News repeated the grim news in CDC retracts guidance on airborne spread of coronavirus as U.S. reaches 200,000 deaths, adding an example in the headline of why I don't think the Trump Administration deserves any grade above a D in its handling of the pandemic.

Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña joins CBSN to discuss the milestone of 200,000 American lives lost in the pandemic, and what can be done to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
I think CBS News didn't focus enough on the irregularity, to put it mildly, of the CDC posting and then retracting its guidance on how to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. However, they did do a good job of conveying how the pandemic is making Halloween even scarier, and not in a fun way.

Speaking of scary, the forecast is for up to 300,000 American deaths from the pandemic by the end of the year. I hope that doesn't come true, but I'm not optimistic. If (when) it happens, I promise to post an update. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

CBS News covers National Voter Registration Day 2020, which falls on the Autumnal Equinox this year

I concluded Noah, Colbert, and Meyers mourn Ruth Bader Ginsburg and decry the rush to fill her seat with two paragraphs about today's holidays.
Remember, today is National Voter Registration Day. If you want to vote in Justice Ginburg's memory, be sure you're registered. If you're not, register, either at one of today's events or through TurboVote. If you are, Get #VoteReady.

I'll be back later today with a post about the Autumnal Equinox and all the other days that fall on September 22nd. Stay tuned.
I decided to forego writing writing about nearly all the myriad days that share today to focus on National Voter Registration Day.* It's an election year, which is more important than elephants, rhinos, and hobbits. I can write about those next year, should I still be around, but National Voter Registration Day won't fall on the autumnal equinox again until 2026 and it's critical my American readers are registered to vote if they're 18 or over.

To mark today's civic holiday, I'm sharing two reports from CBS News, beginning with the briefer and more recent National Voter Registration Day comes as registration is down in the U.S..

Today is National Voter Registration Day. CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte joined CBSN to discuss why registration is down this year, and what to do if you still need to register to vote.
This clip does a good job of explaining the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on voter registration and what can and has been done about it.

The longer and slightly older National Voter Registration Day: Making sure your vote counts covers some of the same territory and more, including what to do after getting registered.

With the presidential election exactly six weeks away, National Voter Registration Day is aiming to ensure every eligible voter has the tools to make their voice heard. CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted registration efforts nationwide.
Watch all the way to the end for an important item about how Florida continues to disenfranchise felons despite a referendum passing to restore them and how Michael Bloomberg is helping to fix that. Given how close Florida usually is, that could be crucial for the eventual winner of the Presidential contest.

I close today by sharing Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of fall from KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Remember, axial tilt is the reason for the season! Also remember to be sure that you are registered to vote if you are eligible!

*The one I will celebrate on this blog this year is Car Free Day. I decided not to go into the office today and work from home, since I could because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Silver linings, anyone?

Noah, Colbert, and Meyers mourn Ruth Bader Ginsburg and decry the rush to fill her seat

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday. She was at least as important as Chadwick Boseman and U.S. Representative John Lewis, so she deserves her own obituary entry. It would hurt too much to deliver it straight, so I'm letting the comedians deliver the news to soften the blow, beginning with Trevor Noah's eulogy, The Inspiring Life Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Here’s the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court, a fierce human rights advocate, and an American icon.
That was a stirring tribute from someone whose primary goal is getting his audience to laugh, which is why I placed it first — that, and it having the best preview image. Yes, I do use such shallow criteria for ordering my videos. By the way, reacting to losing to John Oliver at the Emmy Awards will show up again over the jump.

Speaking of going first, The Political War Over Justice Ginsburg’s Supreme Court Seat actually was the opening segment of last night's episode of the Daily Show, but I decided that the fight over Ginsburg's seat should take second place to the life of the woman herself.

Following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Republicans pivot on their earlier stances by saying a vote for her replacement should proceed soon, and Democrats push back and threaten to retaliate if the confirmation happens before the election.
Describing what Republican Senators are doing hypocrisy actually gives them some moral credit, as "hypocrisy is the tribute vice gives to virtue." At least hypocrites know what virtue is. I don't think that applies to Trump. I suspect he thinks a lot of vices are virtues, so he's not even a hypocrite. As for intellectual consistency, he doesn't care. Steve Bannon had to take Trump's statements on foreign policy and convert them into an ideological position. Trump couldn't do it himself.

Follow over the jump for the tributes from Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Coffee Party USA announces the nominees for the 2018-2019 Golden Coffee Cups for television

At the end of May, Coffee Party USA invited its supporters to stream the political TV series on the Golden Coffee Cups shortlist while staying safe at home and asked them to become members so they could vote on the shortlist to determine the nominees. For the past three weeks, the members and volunteers of Coffee Party USA did that just as they did earlier this year for the Golden Coffee Cup movie nominees.

After the preliminary round of voting, Veep leads nominees with three nominations, followed by House of Cards, Madame Secretary, and The Handmaid's Tale with two each. All of the other 32 nominees have one nomination each.

Here are the nominees in six categories showcasing the best in politics and government on the small screen during the 2018-2019 television season.

Best Drama Series about Politics and Government

House of Cards
Killing Eve
Madam Secretary
The Good Fight
The Handmaid's Tale

Four are repeats from last year, House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Ozark, and The Good Fight, while three, Killing Eve, Succession, and The Handmaid's Tale, are new, although The Handmaid's Tale was nominated last year for Best Comedy, Drama, Miniseries, or Movie for Television about Fantastic and Futuristic Politics and Government as it is again this year. Last year's winner, Mindhunter, was not eligible, so it didn't return. That means there will be a new winner in this category this year. Become a member so you can vote!

Best Comedy Series about Politics and Government

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Drunk History
I Love You, America
Orange Is the New Black
Schitt's Creek
Saturday Night Live

Three of the nominees are repeats from last year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Orange is the New Black, and returning winner Veep. Sketch variety shows were added to the category along with the comedy series, so Drunk History, I Love You, America, and Saturday Night Live became eligible this year. Joining the field is the Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek. Will Veep repeat for its final season? It's up to you, should you become a member.

Best Miniseries or Movie for Television about Politics and Government

A Very English Scandal
Black Mirror
Sharp Objects
When They See Us

Black Mirror is the returning winner. Do you think its episodes are still the best short movies about politics and government for television or should a new nominee take its place? Once again, it's up to you, should you become a member.

Best Talk Show

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Real Time with Bill Maher
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

This is a new category, so there is no obvious favorite. Which is yours? Join and vote!

Best Comedy, Drama, Miniseries, or Movie for Television about Fantastic and Futuristic Politics and Government

American Dad
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Star Trek: Discovery
The Handmaid's Tale
The Man in the High Castle
The Orville

Like last year, this category has the most nominees with nine. This year, it also has the most returning nominees with six, Gotham, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander, Star Trek: Discovery, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Orville. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won this category last year. Do you think it's the best speculative fiction series about politics and government or do you think one of the other nominees deserves the honor more? Join to make your opinion known!

Best Television President for 2018-2019 Season

Keith Carradine as President Conrad Dalton on "Madame Secretary"
Lynda Carter as President Olivia Marsdin on "Supergirl"
Michael Gaston as President Andrew Pickett on "Jack Ryan"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as President Selina Meyer on "Veep"
Andrea Savage as President Laura P. Montez on "Veep"
Robin Wright as President Claire Underwood on "House of Cards"

Only Julia Luis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer and Andea Savage as Laura P. Montez are returning from last year. That means that last year's winner, Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman on Designated Survivor, did not return either, so the members of Coffee Party USA will elect a new TV president, just as they will elect one in real life. Become one of us to vote!

The members and volunteers of Coffee Party USA will vote for their favorite nominees over the next two weeks, at the end of which Coffee Party USA will announce the winners on its blog and Facebook page. If you want to become one of the voters for this or future Golden Coffee Cups, become a member. Voting will happen on a members-only Facebook group.

Coffee Party USA ia a 501c(4) nonprofit social welfare organization dedicated to empowering and connecting communities to reclaim our government for the people. To support its efforts, which include educating the public on our website and on our Facebook page, registering people to vote with our partners TurboVote and National Voter Registration Day, and reminding them to vote through our Voter Buddy program, please consider donating. A donation of $10.00 for ten years of Coffee Party USA is recommended. Ten dollars will also buy our partner stamp with Stamp Stampede to stamp money out of politics. For those who wish to give at a higher level of support and be more involved in the organization, please consider becoming a member, which will allow you to vote for future Golden Coffee Cup nominees and winners. To do the valuable work of the Coffee Party, volunteer. Not only will Coffee Party USA thank you for it, so will the country!

Reposted and modified from the original at Coffee Party USA's blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Outstanding Drama Series nominees at the Emmys once again examine politics and government

I told my readers to "stay tuned for the Drama Series nominees tomorrow" at the end of 'Schitt's Creek' vs. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' — Outstanding Comedy Series nominees that use politics and government for laughs, so, without any further ado, here are the nominations for drama series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO)
Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Drama Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Drama Series are Better Call Saul, The Crown, The Handmaid's Tale, Killing Eve, The Mandalorian, Ozark, Stranger Things, and Succession.
As I have in the past two installments, I begin my commentary by being a good environmentalist and recycling.
The protagonists of "Better Call Saul" are lawyers, not government employees, but they work in courtrooms and deal with law enforcement, so a government function plays an important part in the show...."Succession" concentrate[s] on family dynamics...but politics and government contibute important, if secondary, plot elements...Rupert Murdoch and his children helped inspire the family in "Succession" and the Murdochs are as much about politics as they are about media.
Both the Galactic Republic and the remnants of the Galactic Empire, which will eventually become the First Order, appear in "The Mandalorian" with the agents of the government of the Dark Side promising to play an important part in the second season.
The rest of the nominees all deal with politics and government in some way, some more directly than others. "The Crown" continues its dramatization of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II with a new cast...
The same is true of the remaining nominees in the Emmy field. "Killing Eve" sets its tale of twisted romance inside a spy thriller. So does "Stranger Things," as the horror turns out to be part of a Soviet plot. "The Handmaid's Tale" is one of a dystopian theocratic future. Finally, "Ozark" plays lots of local politics.

I didn't say which nominee would win at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Awards, but I think it will be "Succession." It won Outstanding Achievement in Drama at the TCA Awards and both Drama Series and Drama Episode at the Gold Derby Awards. HBO has found a new awards favorite now that "Game of Thrones" is over.

Follow over the jump for the nominations for acting, directing, and writing.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

'Schitt's Creek' vs. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' — Outstanding Comedy Series nominees that use politics and government for laughs

I told my readers first in 'Watchmen' vs. 'Mrs. America' and 'Unbelievable' — limited series at the 2020 Emmy Awards that examine politics and government and then repeated in Talk like Redd for Talk Like A Pirate Day, "stay tuned for the comedy series nominees at the Emmy Awards." Without any further ado, here are the nominations for comedy series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
Schitt's Creek (Pop TV)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
This is one of the two most prestigious categories for programs, so the Television Academy uploaded a video announcing its nominations. Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Comedy Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dead To Me, The Good Place, Insecure, The Kaminsky Method, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Schitt's Creek, and What We Do in the Shadows.
I begin by being a good environmentalist and recycling what I wrote about the equivalent category in 'Watchmen' and 'Unbelievable' lead nominees about politics and government at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards.
The Mayor of "Schitt's Creek" is an important supporting character and the female lead, Catherine O'Hara as Moira Rose, runs for town council and wins the seat...As the Television Critics Association notes, "The Good Place" won last year, but it's contending with Program of the Year nominee "Schitt's Creek" for this award. As I mentioned yesterday, both completed their final seasons, so that makes them even in that regard. As much as I want "The Good Place" to win, I suspect "Schitt's Creek" will unseat it in this category. As for the rest of the nominees, "Insecure" deals with race and other social issues, so it's the most political, while the protagonists of "Dead to Me" are dealing with the police among their many misadventures. "What We Do in the Shadows" is not political, but it is the other speculative fiction nominee besides "The Good Place" with its comedy vampires.
As I predicted, "Schitt's Creek" won the equivalent category at the Televsion Critics Assocation (TCA) Awards. It also won both Comedy Series and Comedy Episode at the Gold Derby Awards. So far "Schitt's Creek" has also won one Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, which bodes well for the acting categories. Based on those wins, I'm convinced that "Schitt's Creek" is the prohibitive favorite.

The most political of the rest of the field other than "Insecure" is "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which has ventured more into government and politically charged social issues in its third season, even though it's still primarily about show business. It was not nominated at the TCA Awards and won no awards at the Gold Derby Awards, losing to "Schitt's Creek" in six of seven categories, losing in the seventh to "The Good Place." However, it does have two Creative Arts Emmy Awards, so the series won't walk away empty-handed. On the other hand, none of the rest of the comedy series nominees have won any Emmy Awards yet, having run into "The Mandalorian," which competed in many of the same categories and won five Creative Arts Emmy Awards so far.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson, Sr. on Black-ish (Episode: "Love, Boat") (ABC) Don Cheadle as Maurice "Mo" Monroe on Black Monday (Episode: "Who Are You Supposed to Be?") (Showtime) Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place (Episode: "Whenever You're Ready") (NBC) Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky on The Kominsky Method (Episode: "Chapter 12: A Libido Sits in the Fridge") (Netflix) Eugene Levy as Johnny Rose on Schitt's Creek (Episode: "The Pitch") (Pop TV) Ramy Youssef as Ramy Hassan on Ramy (Episode: "You Are Naked in Front of Your Sheikh") (Hulu)
Watch the Television Academy's 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series are Anthony Anderson, Don Cheadle, Ted Danson, Michael Douglas, Eugene Levy, and Ramy Youssef.
I think the favorite is Eugene Levy who won the equivalent category at the Gold Derby Awards and has two Emmy Awards already for writing. His main competition is Ramy Youssef, who won a Golden Globe and earned a TCA Award nomination for this role in a show, that like "Insecure," deals with political and social issues. As much as I want to root for Ted Danson from "The Good Place," I think two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas and Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Don Cheadle are better bets. Finally, I expect Anthony Anderson will once again be the best man and not the groom as he loses again.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate as Jen Harding on Dead to Me (Episode: "It's Not You, It's Me") (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam "Midge" Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "A Jewish Girl Walks Into the Apollo...") (Prime Video)
Linda Cardellini as Judy Hale on Dead to Me (Episode: "If Only You Knew") (Netflix)
Catherine O'Hara as Moira Rose on Schitt's Creek (Episode: "The Incident") (Pop TV)
Issa Rae as Issa Dee on Insecure (Episode: "Lowkey Happy") (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson on Black-ish (Episode: "Kid Life Crisis") (ABC)
Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series are Christina Applegate, Rachel Brosnahan, Linda Cardellini, Catherine O’Hara, Issa Rae, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Once again, I kick off my observations by recycling from 'Watchmen' and 'Unbelievable' lead nominees about politics and government at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards.
My pick would be Catherine O'Hara, who has multiple Emmy nominations and one win, albeit as a writer. Her main competition consists of...Christina Applegate, multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominee with one Emmy win [and] Issa Rae, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee...
I would add Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam "Midge" Maisel in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" as the only Emmy winner for the same role as O'Hara's competition ahead of Applegate, Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Linda Cardellini, although Ross does have a Golden Globe to her credit.

Follow over the jump for the acting categories I covered in It's Saturday night, so here are the 15 Emmy nominations for 'Saturday Night Live' and the nominated talent behind the camera.

Talk like Redd for Talk Like A Pirate Day

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! For today's celebration, I'm featuring the newest addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean crew, Redd, who is both an animatronic and a walk-around character, as an example of how to talk like a pirate, a female Irish pirate at least.

I begin with Disney Dan's New REDD Meet & Greet at Disneyland Docks! Pirates of The Caribbean Redd Auction Character, which has the best preview image of all the videos with good sound I found.

Meet the brand new character experience at Disneyland, Redd as she tells you stories of pirates and adventure outside the newly reopoened Pirates of The Caribbean at Disneyland!
I don't know how to break it to her, but potatoes will cause the Irish a lot of misery about 100 years in the character's future.

Next, Inside The Magic's Redd NEW Pirates of the Caribbean character FIRST APPEARANCE at Disneyland.

Video of the all-new Redd Pirate character meet-and-greet near the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
This video shows a lot more of her interacting with children, which highlights a different side to the character.

I conclude with Meeting Redd the Pirate at Disneyland, New Meet & Greet in New Orleans Square, The Redhead showing a different actress saying good-bye.

We met Redd the pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean at New Orleans Square in Disneyland! She is a new walk-around character that debuted a couple of weeks ago, along with a new auction scene for the attraction.
I don't think Redd was all that enamored of the fellow doing the filming.

Of course, all of this is a family-friendly fantasy. The reality looked more like this.

That's Anne Bonny from "Black Sails." I might feature her next year.

Now, stay tuned for the comedy series nominees at the Emmy Awards.

Friday, September 18, 2020

'Watchmen' vs. 'Mrs. America' and 'Unbelievable' — limited series at the 2020 Emmy Awards that examine politics and government

After taking a few days off to write about hurricanes, fires, voting rights, and the pandemic, it's time I return to the Emmy Awards. Today, I'm covering the nominations for limited series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (FX)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO)
As this is one of the marquee awards, the Television Academy made a video of the announcement of the nominees. Watch 72nd Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Limited Series.

The nominees for Outstanding Limited Series are Little Fires Everywhere, Mrs. America, Unbelievable, Unorthodox, and Watchmen.
This field is very similar to the one at the 2020 Television Critics Association Awards, so I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle.
Both "Watchmen" and "Unbelievable" examine politics and government through the lens of law enforcement. "Watchmen" views crime and punishment using a fantastic and futuristic perspective (even though it takes place in 2019, it's not our 2019), while "Unbelievable" based its story on real events..."Mrs. America" explicitly portrays actual politicians and activists, so it is expressly about politics and government..."Little Fires Everywhere" explores social issues and includes a trial at the climax of the series, so a government function becomes a critical plot point...As for the winner, I'll repeat what I wrote for Program of the Year, "I'm hoping it's 'Watchmen'...but it could just as easily be 'Unbelievable.'" It could even be "Mrs. America" as a spoiler.
Since I wrote that, "Watchmen" won four awards from the Television Critics Association, Program of the Year, Outstanding New Program, Outstanding Achievement In Movie, Miniseries, Or Special, and Individual Achievement In Drama for Regina King. "Watchmen" also won Limited Series and King won Movie/Limited Series Actress at the Gold Derby Awards. Because of those awards, as well as the five Emmy Awards the superhero show has already won, I'm even more confident that "Watchmen" will win this category.*

Follow over the jump for the rest of the limited series nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Vox explains what long voting lines in the US really mean

I opened Full Frontal, Vox, and WGBH ask What If Trump Refuses To Concede A Loss In November? Serious and silly looks at the Transition Integrity Project's 'war game' by reviewing my focus on the election, then asking a question.
My coverage of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the 2020 election has centered on voting by mail along with Trump opposing it and trying to sabotage the US Postal Service. What happens if people are able to vote by mail but Trump refuses to accept the results?
Thanks to Samantha Bee's correspondent, the answer to that question was hilarious, if alarming. Now it's time to ask another question — what about people who are voting in person? There will be people who go to polling places, either because they prefer to, even during a pandemic, or because they are unable, for whatever reason, to vote by mail. Vox examines that question in What long voting lines in the US really mean.

The sneaky ways that some US states make it harder to vote.
The process of voting isn’t the same for all Americans. Depending on where you live, you might vote on a screen, a punchcard, or a piece of paper. You might have to show an ID to vote, or you might not. And you might have to wait a long time, or you might not.

Some of these differences don’t really matter. But some of them make voting harder. And sometimes they can keep people from voting altogether. For decades, the US had a civil rights law that made sure those differences were fair, and didn’t disproportionately keep certain people from voting: the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But in 2013, the US Supreme Court gutted that law, allowing states to pass a slew of new voting laws.

Those new laws often had the effect of making it harder for poor people and people of color to vote. And the 2020 US election will be shaped in part by those laws. But the same election will also decide the future of those laws.

This video is the second in our series on the 2020 election. We aren’t covering the horse race; instead, we want to explain the stakes of the election through the issues that matter the most to you.
Like climate change, The Supreme Court's ruling on Shelby vs. Holder and its effect on voting rights was an issue before the pandemic and will remain one after the pandemic is over. Unlike climate change, it can be fixed just by passing a law, in this case the one named after the late John Lewis. That won't happen this year, as the bill is being held up in the Senate by Mitch McConnell like so many others. Even if it passed there, President Trump is threatening to veto it. On the other hand, if the House of Representatives, Senate, and White House are all in the hands of Democrats next year, the bill can be reintroduced, passed by both houses, and signed into law. That sounds like a good maybe to me.